Reaseheath’s equine team rides high

Reaseheath College equine students were riding high after winning a hotly contested inter college team competition. Katie Gibbins, Lucy Lloyd-Brown, Nieve Dillon, Lucy Lunt-Bell, Emily Hassell and Cerys Calcutt, who are studying for their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management at the Nantwich college, competed against teams from four other leading land-based colleges.

Equine staff and students are royally received at Ascot Champions Day

Equine undergraduates and Level 3 Diploma students attended the prestigious finale of the British flat racing season at Ascot Racecourse.

Reaseheath joins the #NotOnMyYard campaign

Reaseheath’s equine department is delighted to be supporting the #NotOnMyYard anti-bullying campaign.

Horse behaviourist Richard Maxwell gives insight into training

Renowned Horse Behaviourist Richard Maxwell  gave audiences at Reaseheath Equestrian Centre a fascinating insight into his training methods and philosophies.

Richard, who is a qualified Masterson Method Practitioner, combines a unique blend of natural and traditional horsemanship in order to help horses and their owners. His many clients hail from all equestrian disciplines and include international event rider Sharon Hunt and dressage star Matt Frost.

Richard began his career as a riding instructor in the Household Cavalry where his own introduction to ‘natural horsemanship’ came through a chance meeting with the legendary Monty Roberts.

Easter Bunny (2) by Roy Gadsden

Said Richard:  “In 1988, Monty came to the UK to give a demonstration for the Queen. I gleaned so much from his knowledge and found it  interesting how you could take something from a different  style of equitation, such as western or rodeo, and introduce this into ‘mainstream’ training.”

Richard’s holistic approach has also been inspired by experts in the field of equine physiology such as Andy Andrews and Jim Masterson – founder of the ‘Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork’ system.

Richard explained: “Andy Andrews helped me to appreciate how physiological problems can contribute heavily to behavioural issues. On meeting Jim Masterson, I was able to put a few more pieces into the jigsaw puzzle and I now feel that I have a fuller picture. I can now help horses physiologically as well as through behavioural training.”

In front of a packed house, Richard worked with three very different types of horses ranging from a dressage horse with ‘stage-fright’ to a Welsh cob with loading problems.

Said Richard: “Any demo is only a snapshot and the answer to behavioural problems is never a quick fix. If I can get just one thing right that might help a horse, then the peripheral problems surrounding an issue may start to lessen.”

Read more about Richard’s demonstration here.

Inaugural BYRDS Symposium hosted at Reaseheath Equestrian Centre

Last weekend, the inaugural British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS) Symposium was held at Reaseheath College Equestrian Centre.

The schedule for the BYRDS Symposium, which was titled ‘Two Athletes – One Performance’, was packed-full of interactive presentations from a host of industry experts with topics ranging from sports science, rider psychology and training methods.

Increase your career prospects with an equine degree

BSc (Hons) Equine Science Hannah Dickson - Outstanding Achievement in undergraduate research in Equine Science Award winner

BSc (Hons) Equine Science Hannah Dickson – Outstanding Achievement in undergraduate research in Equine Science Award winner

The debate goes on but the message is clear: studying for an equine science degree hugely improves your career prospects.

This was the main topic of conversation when Reaseheath College in Cheshire partnered Horse & Hound, Britain’s most respected information source, in a recent on-line careers webchat.

Equine lecturers Kate Douglas-Dala and Jess Denham, both Advanced Practitioners at the college, were inundated with questions from young people planning their future careers and from others who are already employed but looking to progress or change careers.

Here are some examples of their advice:

Lots of employers say equine colleges are not preparing graduates adequately for work in the industry. Why should I bother to get an academic qualification?

  • All Reaseheath’s equine degrees are focussed on employability. All courses include the opportunity to work practically with horses, from stable management through to gait analysis using the latest mechanical software.
  • Reaseheath places high importance on employability skills. Graduates leave with a skills portfolio which demonstrates they have both practical competencies and the paper based qualifications to succeed in the industry.
  • Undergraduates complete a work placement as part of their course, Many employers are so impressed with our students’ skills that they offer them paid employment once they have gained their qualification.
  • We work with a wide range of partners, allowing our students to gain experiences and contacts within the industry. For instance we provide the arena party at prestigious international events such as the Horse of the Year Show and Bolesworth International.
  • What really sets us apart are our links to industry including The International Committee on Equine Exercise Physiology, the Advancing Equine Scientific Excellence Group and key industry stakeholders such as the Cheshire Racing Hub. These links have opened the door to collaborative research projects, conference attendance bursaries and a range of research opportunities.
FdSc Equine Science and Management graduates Rebecca Webb, Rebecca Wilkinson, Amy Cunningham, Dame Sarah Storey DBE and Kate Douglas-Dala (lecturer)

FdSc Equine Science and Management graduates Rebecca Webb, Rebecca Wilkinson, Amy Cunningham, Dame Sarah Storey DBE and Kate Douglas-Dala (lecturer)

I’m a mature student thinking of changing career? Will I be able to cope with returning to learning?

  • We’re noticing an increase in the number of mature students who have chosen to ‘pursue their dream’ and retrain for a career in the equine industry. We offer a range of support to this student group to facilitate a stress free return to studying.
  • Our course team is always ready to help with any specific challenges. We have a fantastic learning centre which supports undergraduates individually or by using a combined peer approach. Students can also have one-to-one sessions with a specialist tutor.
FdSc Equine Science Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship

Successful Foundation Degree in Equine Science, Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship graduates celebrate with Course Manager Dawn Gale and Dame Sarah Storey

Do you favour candidates with a science background?

  • We prefer you to have some science based qualifications for our Level 3 Diplomas and particularly for our BSc routes. However, this may include ‘A’ levels such as psychology or physical education or other science related studies.

We’ve got a range of new degree programmes on offer, to find out more visit our Higher Education equine course pages.


Cheshire Racing Hub turns spotlight on horseracing careers

Young people are being encouraged to ‘kick on’ into a racing career thanks to a new project which turns the spotlight onto Cheshire’s thriving horseracing industry.

‘Racing Through Education’ has been launched by Cheshire Racing Hub to promote the wide choice of attractive careers available in the industry to secondary school pupils, college students and veterinary undergraduates.

The initiative is being led by Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of its rural regeneration strategy, with support from partners Reaseheath College in Nantwich, the University of Liverpool and Chester Race Company.

Reaseheath College, a leader in equine education, is for the first time offering a bespoke racing module within its equine courses which has been taken up by over 40 students. The University of Liverpool, which has an international reputation for its equine veterinary and research specialisms, is encouraging future vets at the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, Wirral, to look at opportunities within the industry while Chester Race Company operates Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses, key venues for racegoers.

Local schools and colleges are being encouraged to promote horseracing as an exciting, but often unrecognised, career route which is available locally. The message coincides with national publicity about a critical staff shortage in the racing industry. Project co-ordinator is Sophie Keepax, a Reaseheath Higher Education equine course manager and lecturer.

Cheshire Racing Hub was formed in 2013 to promote horseracing as a career among school and college students and to encourage the growth of equine businesses and investment in Cheshire. This followed research which identified horse racing as a key economic driver within the region.

After a break in funding, the partnership has received a second grant of £13,920 from the British Horseracing Grant Scheme to continue its work with young people through ‘Racing Through Education’. The project is part of the British Horseracing Authority’s ‘Racing Together’ scheme to promote careers in racing and to raise the profile of racing nationally within communities.

Speaking at the Malpas yard of point to point trainer Oliver Greenall, where the ‘Racing Though Education’ launch was held, Chair of Cheshire Racing Hub Kay Kent said: “Horse racing is growing in economic importance to Cheshire and we are delighted to receive this second grant to highlight the careers opportunities available to young people across the county, from both rural and urban backgrounds.

“It’s important that young people fully realise just how many rewarding jobs are available, not just riding and  caring for racehorses but within the support industries such as farriery, veterinary services,  equine dentistry and physiotherapy, nutrition  and racing administration. We will be working with both local and national training providers involved with racing to ensure young people have all the information they need to take their first steps into a racing career.”

For further details on ‘Racing Through Education’ contact Sophie Keepax

Picture caption: Racing Through Education’ launches with (l-r) Sue Griffith (Work Related Co-ordinator, Bishop Heber High School); Sophie Keepax (Project Co-Ordinator); Dr Jan Birch (Higher Education Programme Leader, Reaseheath College); Dr Ellen Singer (Senior Lecturer in Equine Orthopaedics, (University of Liverpool); Jeannie Chantler (General Manager, Bangor on Dee Racecourse); Oliver Greenall (Oliver Greenall Racing); Kay Kent (Chair of Cheshire Racing Hub); Sean O’Connor (Community Engagement Manager, Racing Together); Carrie Ford (Regional Education Officer, British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust); Ellie Morris ( Rural Regeneration Programme Manager, Cheshire West and Chester Council)

The Reaseheath equine experience

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an equine student at Reaseheath College?…

If you have any questions about life as an equine student, the industry, university or on-job training, we’re here to help. Join our live Horse and Hound web chat today 12pm-2pm. Reaseheath’s senior equine science lecturer Kate Douglas-Dala and Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care course manager, Jess Denham, will be ready to answer any questions you may have. 

Find out more about our equine courses at:

Careers webchat, live with Horse and Hound

If you’re waiting for your results and wondering whether a college course will get you that dream job with horses, check out our live careers webchat in association with the UK’s leading equestrian magazine, Horse and Hound, on Wednesday 12 August, 12 noon – 2pm. Catch up and take part here:

While you are waiting for the webchat why not check out our students as they provide the arena party at Bolesworth International:


Reaseheath’s senior equine science lecturer Kate Douglas-Dala, who has been involved in the development of Reaseheath’s degree programmes, and Jess Denham, who manages the college’s popular Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care, will be online to answer your questions on university, on-job training and life in the equestrian industry.

Both have extensive experience of working in the industry previous to joining Reaseheath. Kate, who lectures on horse nutrition, welfare and behaviour, was a veterinary nurse specialising in grass sickness cases at the Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital in Edinburgh. Jess was an equine yard supervisor at another college, responsible for the welfare and care of 40 horses as well as supporting students.

Kate has an MSc degree in Equine Science while Jess has a BSc (hons) degree in Equine Studies. Both hold a PGCE teaching qualification and are horse owners themselves.

For more details on our equine degrees and diplomas visit or phone 01270 613242

About Reaseheath College

Recognised as one of the UK’s leading specialist colleges, Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, works closely with industry bodies to ensure that the skills of its students match the demands of the world of work. This ensures a high rate of employment for equine graduates and opens up opportunities for young people, whose practical skills and knowledge are appreciated by employers.

Reaseheath has invested £50 million into cutting edge technology and world class facilities on campus, with a further £30 million planned over the next four years.

Our equine students tell us they most enjoy:

  • Riding in our fabulous indoor arena or two outdoor arenas, all with synthetic surfaces
  • Working horses from the ground in our round pen, purpose built for natural horsemanship
  • Our range of 60 horses, in small yards and for all standards of riders
  • Flicka, our mechanical horse!
  • Their supportive and experienced tutors and lecturers
  • Preparing for extra qualifications such as BHS exams and college certificates
  • Joining our Riding Club with its competitions and clinics
  • Helping to organise masterclasses and national shows or joining our arena team at the Horse of the Year Show and Bolesworth International Show Jumping

Reaseheath College welcomes royal visitor at Cheshire Show

Reaseheath College gave Sophie, Countess of Wessex, a right royal welcome when she visited the college’s award winning stand at the Cheshire Show earlier this week (June 23 and 24)

Her Royal Highness, who is Cheshire Show President, spent 20 minutes chatting to staff and students and inspecting the stand’s activities. She particularly admired Reaseheath’s mechanical horse and a pizza oven built by construction students and was keen to find out more about apprenticeships.

Stand organiser Stephanie Owen said: “The Countess seemed to be very knowledgeable and supportive of landbased industries and asked a lot of pertinent questions about our work with rural businesses. She seemed very natural and was obviously enjoying carrying out her duties at the show.”

The Nantwich college’s visitor friendly stand had earlier taken the top award in the education section, with judge Marie Birkenhead paying tribute to the range of activities on offer and the enthusiastic and well informed staff.

Mrs Birkenhead said: “Reaseheath College’s stand was far and away the best exhibit in its section and really met the criteria, which is to educate and inform visitors about the countryside. We were impressed with the attractive display offering activities for all ages, but what was most outstanding was the wonderful welcome which all visitors received when they went on the stand.”

Top crowd puller on the stand was a Caterpillar digger which gave visitors the chance to operate the controls. Apart from riding the mechanical horse, families were able to have a go on a climbing wall and try milking a model cow. Other activities, under the banner ‘Do Something Different’, included a display of the latest horticultural technology and a chance to make floral buttonholes and beaded dragonflies. Animals from the college’s zoo and a scarecrow from this summer’s ‘Superhero’ maize maze were also on display.

Reaseheath agriculture students took part in breed showing and young handler classes in the cattle show ring with heifers and a cow in milk from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd. The student team were awarded first place in the ‘tidy lines’ competition.

Deputy Marketing Manager Faye Thomson-Butt said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the range of vocational courses we offer. We are very proud of the success of our students and coming to the Cheshire Show each year gives us a great platform to show the public what we can do.”

Caption: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, joins Stephanie Owen and agricultural lecturer Mark Walton on Reaseheath College’s stand at the Cheshire Show.